1. The ‘courier’ scam

Here, a hacker calls you pretending to be either your bank or the police.
The scammer says your card has been compromised or there is a problem with your account. They then advise you to phone your bank, using the number on the back of your card.
But when you ring the bank’s number the scammer is still on the line, having not hung up (this prevents you from making a new call). The conman will now pretend to be a bank representative, persuading you to transfer funds, withdraw money or reveal security information.
With the ”courier” version, a fraudster picks up the card from your home, sometimes providing a fake replacement, or a genuine courier is hired.
This trick is sometimes called “vishing” or the ”no hang up” scam.

2. Using public WiFi to steal your details

Hackers can set up a fake WiFi network that looks like an official one in public places, such as libraries or coffee shops.
This lets them install “malware” on your phone or laptop, which is capable of logging keystrokes to capture your passwords, financial information, and other sensitive details.
Before connecting to a public WiFi network, check the name with a member of staff.
Make sure you disable WiFi when you’re not using it. This prevents your device from joining any rogue networks automatically without you noticing.

3. Guessing passwords

“Password” and “123456” are still Britain’s favorite passwords, according to data compiled from leaked passwords in 2014.
But after you have ensured that you have a strong password, resist the temptation to write it down. Last year Telegraph Money highlighted the case of Nina and Derek Branscombe, who were refused a refund after their debit card was stolen because Mrs. Branscombe had written down her Pin in her diary, carefully disguised among other details.
There are a few tricks you can use to help remember complicated passwords, such as bizarre imagery, mental association, and a mental story.
Finally, never give anyone your login details in full either by email or over the phone – your bank will never request these in this way.

4. Spoof emails and websites

Fraudsters will direct victims, often via spoof emails, to a bogus website that aims to trick them into entering their financial details by pretending to be that of a genuine company.
Victims will click a link from a seemingly legitimate email or text message from a company that operates on the internet, such as Amazon or eBay. The message will encourage you to click on the link by claiming you need to verify or update your details or reactivate an account, for example.

5. ‘App burglars’

Smartphone apps that reveal your location, such as Facebook, cycling app Strava and running app MapMyRun, provide a useful guide to fraudsters, who will know where you live and when your home is empty.
Resist the temptation to announce your holiday dates to Facebook friends and make sure any apps that track your location are set to “private”.

6. Pension liberation fraud

New pension rules, due to be implemented in weeks, will allow people aged 55 or over to access their pension pot immediately. As a result, fake pension scams are expected to rise.

7. Using dodgy in-app permissions

Always check permissions on apps before installing them in order to make sure they are not accessing unnecessary information.
A gaming app, for example, should not need access to your location and contacts.

8. ‘Letterbox’ scams

Fraudsters sometimes attempt to hack into your bank account by infiltrating your post. People who live in areas with communal letter boxes, for example in flats, are particularly at risk of the scam.
Sarah Stead, an IT consultant from Leeds, fell victim last year when a hacker tried to take out a £20,000 loan using details stolen from her letters.
Secure your post when you can and, if possible, sign up for online statements with your bank and utilities providers.

9. Exploiting unencrypted websites

Never shop or log in to online banking when the web address does not begin “HTTPS” or without a lock sign displayed on the address bar.
For an added layer of security, check the online banking security options your bank provides, such as free antivirus and browser security software. Ensure that your computer is protected by “firewall” software.
Browsers often come with built-in security features. Make sure they are activated.

10. Fake virus scanners

Rogue security software can pose as a free way to protect your computer from viruses while actually infecting your computer.
The list of fake software is endless but common names are Antivirus Suite, Cloud AV, Smart Anti-Malware Protection, and Home Malware Cleaner. Stick to reputable names such as Zonealarm, AVG, and Avira.


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